Going to the Dogs…..

January 24, 2012

The clinical department is “going to the dogs”.  Much research has been done regarding the use of animals, and dogs in particular, in therapy.  Latham has long had a therapy dog on campus and other therapy dogs who would visit briefly. We have expanded the program with two additional dogs who have completed the required training. Students are often better able to talk with their clinicians when one of the dogs is present, diffusing the attention from the conversation. One student is working with her clinician to teach her dog new skills and tricks. This provides the student with the opportunity to experience a sense of mastery, as well as helping her with her articulation challenges, as she needs to be able to make commands which the dog can understand. 

Contact with animals has a calming effect. Often an upset student will be able to return to baseline when given the opportunity to pet or walk a dog.  As we work with students to develop their coping and de-escalation skills, the dogs will play an active role.

Chris Coffin,
Clinical Services Director

“Dogs are miracles with paws.” 
~Attributed to Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy

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